Sunday, March 30, 2014

Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant

As one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in the local area, Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant in Longboat Key, FL is proud to serve locally-caught seafood, including stone crabs. From stone crabs to lobster to grouper, all dinners come with homemade hush puppies and one side dish.

The website tells the history behind the restaurants and their famous stone crabs:  "In 1927, Papa Jack Moore started walking the flats of the bays getting stone crabs by hand.  As his business grew, Papa Jack started rowing a boat up and down the coast, sleeping on the beach at night.  He later bought an outboard motor to speed up the process.  Back then, Papa Jack worked about 50 to 75 traps, whereas today, our boats work as many as 140,000 traps.  All traps are built by hand, even today.  Each day, from October 15 to May 15, our boats work the traps to bring in fresh crabs for the restaurant.  The claws are carefully removed and the live crabs returned to the waters to regenerate new ones.  A good day’s catch will run between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds of claws.  Trapping is done between the Florida Keys and Clearwater Beach (on the Gulf side). During a season, we serve between 350,000 to 400,000 pounds of stone crab claws."

We called ahead for reservations, but still had to wait for 20 minutes after we arrived.  We were not in a rush, so we didn't mind the wait.  I enjoyed looking out at the pier and the water.  Soon, we were seated near a window and Keith was anxious to hear if they had any stone crab claws left.  He really loves them and always gets stone crab claws each time we come down to Anna Maria Island.  They only had the medium and large claws left.  So Keith ordered the Surf & Turf dinner.  It came with a Caesar Salad to start, which was the standard interpretation.  The dinner was steak with stone crab claws served with mixed vegetables, onion rings, and hush puppies.  He had the option for warm or cold claws, and chose cold.  The crab meat was substantial and mild even for the medium size, and his steak was cooked perfectly.  I ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese, which came with a side option and I chose mixed vegetables.  The mac & cheese was very cheesy and served in a hot skillet with tons of lobster meat on top.  The lobster was nice and sweet, and overall I enjoyed my meal.  It really hit the spot and was very comforting.  The mixed vegetables of carrots and green beans were seasoned nicely with lots of butter and herbs.

The atmosphere of Moore's is very dated and almost diner-like inside, but the views of the water is nice and relaxing.  The crowd is mostly senior citizens or families with young children, so you might catch a table easier during the later hours.

Total Rating: 3.53
Food: 3.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
Lobster Mac & Cheese
with mixed vegetables
Plus Keith ate:
Caesar Salad

Surf & Turf
steak with stone crab claws
served with mixed vegetables, onion rings, and hush puppies 

Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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